For companies that want to get their online videos seen by as many potential customers as possible, today’s highly fragmented landscape is a challenge. It’s not a matter of just putting out Flash video anymore; now, companies need to deliver multiple formats each with multiple resolutions for a whole range of devices.
Helping companies make sense of the current video landscape, Lisa Larson-Kelley, a web video consultant and the creator of LearnFromLisa.com, led a presentation at the recent Streaming Media East conference in New York City. Larson-Kelley presented useful approaches to getting video seen on the widest range of screens.
Starting out the presentation, Larson-Kelley gave a brief look at the evolution of online video:
“Mobile video is growing. One study said that’s it’s doubling every year. Just over the past year it has doubled — the number of people who have viewed video on their mobile devices. Looking quickly back at the evolution of how we got here: back in the day you had to download a video player that played on your desktop. That was the only way you could really see your video. Then, we moved on to actually seeing it in your browser. That was pretty cool. It was kind of a JPEG refresh: you had one frame, the next frame, right? And then, of course, the revolution was Flash Media Server,” said Larson-Kelley. “You could grab your web cam and you could stream it. You could have two-way interaction and all sorts of things you couldn’t do before and so it sort of opened things up.”
That led to the creation of a certain giant video site:
“YouTube saw this and they adopted Flash, which then brought us to where we are today, where everyone is using Flash,” said Larson-Kelley. Steve Jobs dealt Flash a blow, however, and it lost favor in the online video world. Adobe soon dropped mobile device support for Flash.
That leaves us with a streaming world that’s far from unified.
“It’s a lot of fragmentation, sort of a big mess for all of us developers and content producers to sort out,” said Larson-Kelley. But there is a simple way forward with the H.264 codec.
For more, watch Larson-Kelley’s presentation and download her slides as a PDF file.